In Love with Tea all over again!

I would be lying if I’d say that I have not been a tea fan. In fact, I have always loved my tea and even more in times of rejoicing as well as during stress times to refresh myself! But my latest obsession without a doubt has been with the teas from Gardner Street which are rather aromatic and tasteful. And trust me I have never enjoyed having my tea as much as I do now. I am big time in love with tea all over again! And what is more is that these teas do come with considerable benefits as well.

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And then I got talking with their Brand Representative, so without any delay- here is all that they had to share…

Q: Tell us a little about each of your signature, luxury and wellness collections?
A: So, sharing some information on them-
Wellness- The blends have been created keeping in mind certain targeted problems that are faced by our consumers in their daily lives.
Luxury- Blends that are to be sipped on in leisure, while conversations with our loved ones flow into the night.
Signature- Our first line of teas which is focused on making one ingredient the hero while our whole leaf green tea and other accompanying ingredients compliment it.

Q: Tell us one rare benefit about these teas which is least known?
A: All our teas are whole leaf teas which means that they have a much higher concentration of EGCG and other antioxidants that provide all the benefits from weight loss to clearing the skin. Also, commercial variety paper teabags are composed of tea dust and fanning which is the lowest grade of tea available and is in the form of tiny tea particles. When tea is broken down into such tiny particles it loses all its nutritional benefits and often results in a brew that tastes stale and is more likely to turn bitter.

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Q: This one is for all those who love to host tea parties, what food goes best with your teas?
A: It actually depends on the tea-
1. Glow- Goes best with light foods like Salads, Sandwiches and unsweetened baked goods like Croissants
2. Moroccan Mint- Apple Pie, Poached Pear Tart, Fruit and Spice-based Desserts
3. Chinese Whispers- Asian food like Dim sums, Teppanyaki Rice and Vegetables, Udon noodles
4. Kashmiri Kahwa- Rich Indian foods like Biryani and Kebabs
5. Flower Power- Pancakes, Crepes, Light Salads and Desserts

Q: What are the key points to keep in mind while preparing your teas?
A: Your final cup of tea is a result of the following factors:
1. Quality of tea leaves used- Gardner Street teas are high quality whole leaf teas
2. Water temperature- For Green teas, make sure the water temperature is just under boiling temperature (85 degrees Celsius). To arrive at this, let the water come to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and then wait for 2 minutes till it cools down a little. Then pour the water over tea and not the other way around. For Black and Herbal teas (Moroccan Mint and South African Rooibos) – use boiling water
3. Brewing time- Green Tea- 2-3 minutes, Blacks and Herbals- 5 minutes
4. Quality of the water used- Make sure that you are using filtered water

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Q: For someone who has stopped by Gardner Street Tea for the first time, what would you recommend is a must try?
A: The must-try would be our best sellers: Glow, Moroccan Mint and Kashmiri Kahwa
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Here is hoping you enjoyed reading this post and wishing you a teariffic weekend ahead!

Love,
Sonali

 

 

 

Desi Desserts with a Difference

 

“Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance.” – chef Edward Lee

Well, the dessert brand I am going to talk about in the blog post today, for sure made me do a happy dance each time I binged on their offerings. If you have been a fan (or even not) of Indian desserts, you would be amazed by the unique and interesting range of items which they let you relish. I quite second the fact which the brand urges that Khoya is the essence of true Indian sweets wherein they use fresh and organic ingredients.
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Before we share more on our first-hand experience trying the desserts by Khoya Mithai, we thought that we would let you learn more from the one who has worked rather hard on this brand.

In Conversation with Siddharth Mathur, Director, Head – Food & Beverage, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt Ltd…

Q: In times when the non-Indian desserts are such a rage and every now and then we get spoilt with even more choices- how did such a concept occur or did you feel that this was the need of the hour?
A: Need of the hour for sure! Indian desserts have such great heritage and a special place in our culture, we wanted to bring that back. I also enjoy non-Indian desserts, but felt that mithai was underrepresented at the higher end of the spectrum, hence Khoya was born.Khoya_27895

Q: Sweets in general are facing this constant challenge of pleasing the increasing number of diet conscious consumers, what is the most appropriate offering from your brand for them?
A: We have a delicious Date & Nut Barfi as well as the Fig Barfi both of which have no added sugar and contain ingredients that are good for you!

Q: Tell us about that one creation of yours which is a must try or the one that has been the hot-seller? Also, talk us through if any new additions are in the pipeline?
A: The Walnut Peda is not only my favourite, but has had resounding appreciation. It is made of roasted khoya filled with a slightly crunchy walnut praline filling. We have just launched 12 flavours but one of the exciting works in progress is our Orange Barfi. It is smooth, well-balanced and has a wonderful marmalade finish.
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Q: Following are few occasions, we want you to recommend one offering of yours against each which would make for the most appropriate giveaway for that occasion…
A: Okay then for,

  • Baby Shower – Walnut Peda
  • Mehendi – Pink Motichoor Ladoo
  • House Warming – Besan Ladoo
  • Christmas – Date & Nut Barfi

And of course, it’s even better is to order a mixed variety box, so that there is something for everyone!

So, now that you have heard from the man himself, I just want to say that I couldn’t stopping binging on their Walnut Peda, I have always been a Peda fan but this is something else! Also, I feel with Khoya, you get the opportunity to gift your favourite Indian desserts but in such a classy fashion. And what’s even better is the twist with which it comes, I mean I had never heard of Walnut Peda or Brown Sugar Besan Ladoo for that matter!

And lastly, even mom is a big fan of theirs now, I asked her quickly and honestly tell me, “Would you consider them for my wedding gifts?” And she replied, “Of course, YES!”
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This is one brand which you must try if you are a true desi-dessert lover!

Much Love,
Sonali

Pictures Courtesy: Khoya Mithai

For the True love for Fashion, Beauty, Wellness & More…

This one is especially dedicated to all our readers who have been wanting to read a beauty blog post- there are some fab tips and recommendations… And what’s more is that we have combined this demand with something for our readers who love to read and enlighten themselves on wellness and food.

The best part about this post is that we reached out to someone who constantly loves to educate herself about what goes into her food as well as the body. And whatever she writes whether it’s on natural products, health food, yoga, wellbeing, eco-travel, home or sustainable fashion- she doesn’t shy away from being honest and only recommends brands she truly trusts and that too post sufficient background check!

Now without any further delay, here is Helipadonheels Team in conversation with Alisha of http://www.beautysprinkles.com

 

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Q: Tell us about your journey on what eventually led to starting- Beauty Sprinkles?A: I had been blessed with very good skin throughout my teenage days but as soon as I hit my 20’s, my skin started to become very sensitive and even intolerant. It took me a couple of years to understand what exactly was going on and how I could tackle the issues without changing my lifestyle overnight. Alongside, since I already had a knack for literature, designing and other creative fields,I decided to share whatever I had learnt over all these years with other people.

Q: Tell us about the best beauty buys of 2016 and why?
A: The three best buys of 2016 would definitely be- 1) Just B Au Naturel’s 100% Natural Deodorant Cream because it is made with organic ingredients and is 100 % free from aluminum. 2) The Skin Pantry’s Aloe Whisper Moisturizer as it is very mild and hydrating and of course is organic and is made with very high quality ingredients. 3) A pair of earrings I got from Purpose Jewellery. Not only because it reflects my personality but also because it is made by survivors of human trafficking. These women are very talented and deserve to be applauded for their courage.

Q: Tell us how in our daily living-a few basic practices which we can alter to ensure a healthier living?
A: I know it may sound very basic but keeping hydrated is very important mainly to flush out all the toxins. My health has gotten a lot better after I scrapped processed food from my diet and started having fresh home cooked food. The third practice would be to have sugar in moderate amounts. You don’t have to completely remove it from your diet but having it every single day is definitely not a very healthy practice.

Q: Tell us about the three best health food buys of 2016 and why?
A: Himalayan Cheese mostly because of the taste and because it is made from real milk from grass fed cows and also as it involves fair trade. The next two things would be ideal buys for the vegans- Nut Khut Peanut Butter from Organza Foods because of the organic ingredients and the delicious taste and SVA Foods Nut Milks because they are freshly made and they even have a big range of flavoured nut milks.

Q: The most underrated health food according to you and why?
A: In my opinion, since I am not a nutritionist-I think the most underrated health food would be Psyllium Husk also known as Isabgol. It not only helps with constipation but also cleanses the colon.

Q: Tell us about that the one food term, we have to know about!
A: Omega 3 Fatty Acids which is an unsaturated fatty acid mostly found in food items like fish, nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds etc. It has numerous health benefits for the heart, skin and hair and is also very beneficial for women with PCOD problems.

Q: According to you- the most environmentally conscious beauty and fashion brands of recent times?
A: Well, conscious beauty brands will definitely hit boom in the coming years but for now I love-The Skin Pantry and Just B Au Naturel. But when it comes to fashion, I am extremely happy to tell you that we have a long list of conscious fashion brands in India. I love Arture, Chirita, Pero, Tribling, Doodlage and Chola … I can just go on and on

Q: Any message for our readers
A: My message would be to appreciate the beautiful life you are blessed with.Taking care of your health because to create a life you want and to give back, the most important thing would be to have energy which is possible only when you are healthy. So, just be happy, be healthy and share the love.

Wow, that was quite a simple yet profound message for you guys, what say?

Here’s to Girl Power: Happy Women’s Day

Seldom do we both get this candid at a personal level and pour our heart out… So, here’s a brief one on being women and being inspired by other women!!!

 

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Sonali says-

“I love being a woman and I love being feminine.” Charlize Theron

Well, I truly and deeply believe and live by this quote… The most beautiful gift has been of being a woman!!! Of course the life of a woman is so colourful for we have more variety of clothes at a store or for that matter- there are endless shades for our lips, nails and eyes and yes, we love our heels as well!!! But not taking away from any of these fancies, I feel I would still love being a woman… For my mother with or without make-up instills great hope in me on days I see none, for my mother can bind us together with or without getting us materialistic stuff and for her hug is the best thing in the world….

I feel a woman does just so much for a lot gets seen and most remains unseen… And they are much stronger than we really feel they are!!!

Today, I would once again like to thank all the women in my life for making my life even more beautiful…

I have to mention my mother who inspires me the most- I don’t say it enough but how much and what all she does in a day and still has a smile on her face is just so amazing! Today, if I get complimented for how I look, how I dress and the like- I feel I have just inherited it all from her… Most importantly, she has demonstrated true character and substance in the harshest of times- that for me has been the biggest learning for life!!! For the value system instilled in me and my siblings- deep down we thank you each day for this!

I love you mom- for being my best friend, support and so much more…

And I have to thank all my friends and sisters… Girls you are the ones who have helped me savour the true joy of friendship…a relationship whose importance I have only learned over time… But today, I value you all just way too much…You all have contributed in helping me become a better individual and it is because of you all that I feel rather wealthy 🙂  Here’s to many more memories and experiences of a lifetime!

Wishing each and every woman – Happy Women’s Day! More power to us today and everyday!

Shagun says-

Women’s Day always makes me introspect on who I am as a woman and also think about women who have inspired me. There are so many of them but today I want to share a little about three of my special ones.
-As cliched as it might sound, my mom to begin with inspires me each day with her positivity and strength; the elegance which she has dealt every single problem in her life with. And when I say problem, there have been plenty. The depth to soak her pain upon realizing the loss of her husband and not shedding a single tear just for the sake of her children is one moment that gives me chills till date and inspires me to hold tight no matter how testing the time may get.

“A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

– I have also been lucky to have two very special friends in life who inspire me to no limits. Sonali on one hand is the most patient, calm and understanding woman I have ever met. She can love someone all her life without expecting anything at all in return. She has the unique potential to see positivity in the darkest of times. She loves a lot but never at the cost of her self respect. I have seen her make the wisest of decisions which most of us fail to at the hands of getting emotional. She inspires me to love, love a lot but also hold your ground for what is right. I don’t have enough words to describe her but she is the kind of woman who can make you feel blessed for her presence. I do!

“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story–I will.” —Amy Schumer

-Another beautiful friend of mine, Varsha has inspired me in ways that I bet she does not even know. From being a younger sister who I always watched out for to getting on the cover of VOGUE, she has not just inspired me but many. Her go-getter attitude is intimidating and shaking. She gets what she wants because she wants it bad. She wants it so bad that she will put all her love, sweat, time and most importantly her faith in it and then sit back and wait till things come around. Until then she won’t quit. She has come out a winner but she is still the younger sister I watched out for. Her laughter is still as loud and hysterical as it always was. That innocent naiveness combined with sheer fierceness is what inspires me.

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” ―Madonna

Saluting all the women out there…

Love,
Shagun & Sonali

 

 

Beauty Spotlight:Organic Harvest

How many of you agree that winter is that extra special time to discover some great products to pamper yourself and your skin? Well, especially as with winters comes dryness and one wants to make sure that they step out looking their most beautiful self with or without make-up…

So, for we believe in sharing on products which impress us, here is a brand called-Organic Harvest which impressed us twice over this winter. And as there is still a nip in the air, it isn’t a bad idea to get your hands on them right away!

Product Pick 1: Organic Harvest Happy Lips Pomegranate Lip Care- The flavour itself was enough to win our hearts as it is one of our favourite fruits but even more impressive was the subtleness and smoothness of the product. For those who value quality products, would be happy to learn that it is sans chemicals. So, for well moisturized and supple lips- this one would be a good buy!  It even comes in other flavours such as Green Apple, Shea Butter and Strawberry.

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Product Pick 2: Organic Harvest Moisturising Lotion – For its pleasant aroma and effective doing on the skin shall definitely make you happy. What’s the best part is that it is very light and doesn’t grease you up annoyingly. Made from raw materials grown without chemicals, herbicides and pesticides; this lotion contains Tamarind Seed Extracts and Essential Oil and vouches to give a 24 hours moisturisation from head to toe. Softness and Smoothness shall be enjoyed with regular application.

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HIGH ON HOTELS:KC Beach Club & Pool Villas

Okay then, having issues beating the Monday morning blues?  Breathe a sigh of relief, as we are all set to virtually take you to a true paradise called the KC Beach Club & Pool Villas at one of the most gorgeous places on Earth- Koh Samui… Hence, sit back and enjoy this latest post in our series on- High on Hotels where we get talking with their representative!

Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: Our chic retreat is located in the heart of Chaweng Beach which is known to be the best party place on Koh Samui. This amazing beach has soft, white sand, a shallow turquoise sea and a big variety of leisure and sports programs.
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Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: This new stylish Beach Club Hotel has a total of 42 units: each room has a king-size bed and sofa, bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and rain shower. The rooms are equipped with in-room technology such as 42” LCD Satellite and Cable TV. Each room also disposes of air condition, in-room safe, minibar, complimentary tea and coffee facilities, bathrobes, hair dryer and complimentary Wi-Fi.
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KC Beach Club located on central Chaweng beach, Koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand

Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: In our resort, guests can experience two swimming pools, NEO Restaurant, Pool Bar or massage at beachfront sala. There is free shuttle bus to our sister 5 star resort where guests can utilize local spa and fitness center. Not to forget mentioning about the Saturday Pool Party with professional DJ, hostesses to serve delicious cocktails, plus excellent entertainment from saxophone players, drummers and dancers, also there is an international buffet prepared by our Chef.
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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: Savour the delectable flavours of fine cuisine at Neo Restaurant, Koh Samui’s most fashionable dining venue located at KC Beach Club & Pool Villas. Feel the sea breeze from the open air dining terrace and gaze in awe at the panoramic views of Chaweng Beach as you browse through the mouthwatering menu of carefully selected dishes. Our experienced chef creates classic flavors with the freshest local ingredients including seafood, herbs, chilies and more and presents them in a way that looks almost too good to eat.
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Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: If you are looking for a prime location, fashionable beach club, great music club, entertainment, bar and restaurant, modern accommodation, friendly staff and guests from all over the world-KC Beach Club & Pool Villas is the best choice for a perfect vacation!

Q: What is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: The easiest way to get to KC Beach is to book airport transfer provided by hotel or take outside taxi. We are located just 10 minutes away from the Koh Samui airport.

 Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: The closest shopping mall “Central Festival Samui” is situated in the heart of Chaweng and it is only 5 minutes from our resort. This mall describes itself as “the most complete and largest lifestyle shopping complex in Samui”.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A: Our resort take last order at 22:30, however around us you can find many restaurants and small shops, which you can reach within walking distance.

 

Pictures Courtesy: KC Beach Club & Pool Villas

 

 

WITH LOVE FROM THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY OF INDIA-UDAIPUR

I am a complete dreamer and I don’t shy away from admitting to it either. I love to dream…Dream about countries, cities, beaches, mountains, lakes and so much more. So, while conversing if you feel that I have switched off, maybe I actually have switched off… And have commenced my day-dreaming probably about being on this beach I came across while glancing through my social media account.

For many of these dreams have turned to reality and many are on the wish-list but I am in a happy space as I gradually want to unravel these places spread through the length and breadth of the World Map. Eagerness to visit any destination makes me think more, makes me read more and most importantly it make me work more (harder) so that I can savour the destination in its true spirit.

Today, I am going to throw some light on my very first holiday and trip of 2017… The trip was made to Udaipur- the city of lakes where I had been to-long time ago. But yet again there was something about it which was making me want to visit it sooner than soon and so it happened! Having a loved sister in company just added the right colour and laughter to the trip.

So, without any further delay-sharing as much from our trip…

  1. When visiting this rather romantic city- best is to stay closest to the lakes. I love the water, so there was no way that I was going to be away from the water. We chose- Udai Kothi to be our home for 2 nights and 3 days. Yes, you can see the lake from several parts of the hotel and I must share that our stay was cozy and comfortable. Though we didn’t eat much here, but we would certainly look forward to the breakfast area by the pool to just sit and relax. We clicked umpteen pictures, for the property is gorgeous in white and gets decorated with gorgeous marigold flowers in the common areas. I must add our room was much bigger than expected and was stocked with all the essentials.
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  2. We had amazing gastronomic experiences, like each meal surpassed the one before. For the very reason that we ate to our heart’s content- we are actually happy that we got to walk quite a bit! Hear me out on this one-whenever you decide to visit the City Palace Museum- you must make time to eat at the Palki Khana as this restaurant lets you enjoy the view of the overwhelming structure.
    Also, when both of us were wanting to try out a nice café- we landed in front of the Udai Art Café which was established by Meropi, a vibrant lady hailing from Greece who is a photographer, a coffee connoisseur, a chef and an adventurer. Wow, impressive right? She impressed us equally while she passionately helped us decide our order. We binged big on their pesto pasta and crepe with mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese and bell peppers. We loved our meal which was light on our tummies and pockets!
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  3. For our evening meals we opted for the Aravali Lakeview Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel where we binged on some Laal Maas and the second evening we ate our all-time favourite, Chicken Biryani at this spectacular restaurant right opposite our hotel called Hari Garh. In both cases, we enjoyed views of the lake (both were different lakes), had amazing food and didn’t land up paying all that much. At Radisson Blu, while we enjoyed a live flute performance, the next evening- we played and enjoyed some soothing music from our own phones as we got the best table which only made us pray that the time should freeze as we were having the best time ever!

    Glimpses from  Aravali Lakeview Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel-
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  4. Two things which must feature on your itinerary when in Udaipur- the Lake Pichola Boat Ride and a visit to the City Palace Museum. You are able to soak in much of the city on opting for these two!

    Views from the boat-
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  5. When in Rajasthan, you would certainly have a strong urge to shop everything colourful that meets your eyes. At the Hathipole market– we shopped dupattas like there’s no tomorrow. Also, while passing through several lanes. we picked up jhumkas and lovely neckpieces! Ghewar and Pyaazki kachori are must buys from the Jodhpur Misthan Bhandar for all loved ones back home.
  6.  So, here’s the funniest account-just when someone advised us to head to Sajjangarh for a picturesque panoramic view of the city- we did get there but without looking around much straight away got the tickets for their biological park. Yes, you got that right!!! Little did we know that the very next gate leads to their rather pretty Monsoon Palace… Want to know what next? We were on a golf cart scaling through the park and giggling like little girls spotting the lion, tiger and much more…

  7. For our divine calling, we headed to the Jagdish Temple which is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur…And we were thoroughly satisfied with our visit.
  8. We thought of ending our trip on a high note and hence, headed to The Oberoi Udai Vilas. Words fall short to describe the beauty that this place is. We had made a reservation for their restaurant-Chandni and post arrival,were soon guided to our table which was facing the lake on one side and gave us a beautiful view of the property on the other. The quality and taste of the food was extremely impressive and we enjoyed every bit of it.
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    Here are few handy tips if you are planning to visit Udaipur anytime soon-

    1. Be ready to scroll around with your luggage in case your hotel is situated in some narrow lane as sometimes the taxi drivers don’t want to risk taking their cars through the congested routes.
    2. Some of the locals take art classes which seem very interesting. Make sure if interested, you keep aside approximately 3 hours for it.
    3. Commuting isn’t an issue, you’ll find autos mostly everywhere…We also made good use of Uber!
    4. Make sure you take reservations in case you are planning to visit one of the plush properties and even check if they allow non-residential guests at all.
    5. We did hear much about the Bagore ki Haveli for its popular evening show with a variety of Indian dance- maybe you could check it out!


    Happy Travelling, always!!!
    -Sonali